« AnteriorContinuar »
thousands of blossoms on the trees are only so many beautiful garments put around the filaments and anthers to preserve the pollengrains for the ovarium. Plants can also be propagated from stems and leaves, and buds contain the germinal elements of life. And even in animal bodies of the highest organization these insignificant cells do a mighty work. Carpenter states, that the various tubes and vessels through which the blood and other fluids are conveyed, have their origin in cells precisely as they have in plants. In the lowest animals no such tubes exist; and the same is the case even with the highest in their early condition. For these consist but of a mass of cells, of which some afterwards become cartilage, some are converted into bone, some into muscle, and so on; whilst some break down into each other, so as to form the tubes required for the conveyance of fluids from one part of the system to another, just as they are in plants.” Therefore, there are life cells in every part of the human body, just as there are life cells in the leaves and roots of plants.
One writer says :
6 The cells which float separately in the blood seem to be continually undergoing a changedying, and giving birth to others.” Can any one look at these facts and say that there is no germ in the human body? We have frequently bled our own fingers for the purpose of examining the corpuscles of human blood, and we have frequently been surprised by seeing a number of white cells similar to the germ-cells of plants. One high authority states: “That in the blood or nutritious fluid which circulates through the bodies of all but the very lowest animals, there may be seen a number of colourless cells floating in the liquid, and carried along in its current. These cells are also to be seen in the nutritious fluid which is taken up in the absorbent vessels of higher animals, and which is gradually being converted into blood. They contain a number of minute granules
, which appear to be the germs of new cells."
III. Science teaches that the germs of life may exist in a dormant state for ages.
It is probable that there are thousands and millions of germs, both of vegetable and animal bodies, now lying dormant in the earth ; and there are millions of these germs foating in the air. We will proceed to lay a few of the facts, which men of sciencé have gathered, before our readers.
"To the westward of Stirling there is a large peat-bog, a great part of which has been flooded away, by raising water from the river Teith, and discharging it into the Forth, the object of this being to lay bare the under-soil of clay, which is then cultivated. The clergyman of the parish was on one occasion standing by, while the workmen were forming a ditch in this clay, in a part which had been covered with fourteen feet of peat-earth: observ. ing some seeds in the clay,which was thrown out of the ditch, he took
them up and sowed them; they germinated, and produced a species of chrysanthemum. A very long period of years must have probably elapsed whilst the seeds were getting their covering of clay; and of the time necessary to produce fourteen feet of peat-earth above this, it is scarcely possible to form an idea.” Similar facts have been brought to light in America, and in many other places, Dr. Lindley gives the following: he says—“I have now before me three plants of raspberries, which have been raised in the gardens of the Horticultural Society, from seeds taken from the stomach of a man, whose skeleton was found thirty feet below the surface of the earth, at the bottom of a large mound." Evidence abounds to show that the germs of plants
preserve their vitality for ages. On the vitality of some animals Dr. Carpenter states, and we know of no higher authority, “That death and decay are continually going on in every living animal body, and are essential to the activity of its functions.” Further, speaking of the vital power of some animals, he says, “ Amongst the most remarkable examples are the wheel-animalcules, some species of which may be completely dried up, and may be even exposed to a temperature much exceeding that of boiling-water, without losing the power of recovery when again moistened. An animal in this state strongly resembles a seed that is prevented from germinating by being kept at a moderate temperature, and excluded from the influence of air and moisture. Instances have been recorded in which seeds have been thus preserved for a known period of more than two thousand years, and there are others in which the period was probably much longer. There are no positive facts which enable us to say how long an animal may remain in a similar condition; but it is well known that revival has often taken place after the body has been frozen dried
and there seems no reason why it should not occur after many times that period.” Such are the teachings of modern science by some of the leading scientists of the presentage. With such facts before us, does there appear anything improbable in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead?
IV. Science teaches that the same germ of life may appropriate to itself different kinds of bodies, at different periods, and yet remain the same living agent.
This is strikingly manifest in the animal kingdom. At onetime life clothes itself in a simple covering, similar to the vegetable known by the name of “red snow.” At another stage, the same principle of life is found inclosed in an egg and covered with a shell
. This same principle of life at another stage, appropriates to itself a gross animal body. At another period it is buried in the earth, in some cases for years; and then, at another period, the same living agent clothes itself in a beautiful body with wings. So in the stages of human life. Our bodies are ever changing. In the very act of
breathing we are throwing off old material and inspiring new; every particle of insensible perspiration is a portion of the old body passing away. Our bodies, in their minute particles, are like the drops of water in a river, ever changing. Yet the same living agent remains. The principle of physical life which actuated the infant when it was dependent upon its mother, is the same germ-power that sustains the man, casting its living energy over every particle of the body, in old age. And when we state, that this living agent will spring up
into life again (ANASTASIS) like a germ of corn, we aver nothing more than Science itself teaches. For Science not only shows that the germs of life may lie dormant for years, and for ages; but it also teaches that beautiful bodies, bodies of animals, have been preserved, with all their beautiful tints and markings, for thousands of years. Already more than two hundred different kinds of bodies have been specified, and yearly many new bodies are being discovered. We refer to the Genus Diatomacece, the bodies of which are exciting much interest in the present day. These bodies have passed through the bodies of other animals, without either losing their form or beauty. If God can preserve the bodies of these animals, in every part of the earth for thousands of ages, surely he can preserve the germs of human life.
As to decomposition, Science shows that decomposition is essential to life : « That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die.” As the decomposition of the body, or grain of corn, is necessary for the germ to live and develop its power, so the decomposition of our mortal bodies is necessary to the springing up again of the living human agent into immortal beauty. Even those living mortal bodies that will be found in the earth when the last trumpet shall sound, must be changed before they can enter into eternal life: “ Now, this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." This change will be accomplished by the power of God, as Paul in another place shows : “We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” We have here the same human living agent that appropriated to itself on earth a body of flesh and blood, clothed in a glorious body of which flesh and blood cannot form part. The flesh and blood body was of the first Adam, of the earth earthy, weak, and mortal ; but the resurrection body will be of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven. Christ bore the image of the earthy when he was on earth : “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise
took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." We have sometimes thought that the flesh and blood body of Jesus was too feeble for his great work. In the garden of Gethsemane the human body was wrung in agony till drops of blood fell from it down to the ground. Yet Jesus bore our nature still. And on the Cross his human nature was drained to death, and offered as a sacrifice on the altar of his divinity, without spot to God, and then the fleshly body lay lifeless and powerless in the grave. But Jesus did not leave it there; amid the ignominy of death he came to it again. Death had never held in his dominions such a body before. And when Jesus came to the grave again, death had no power to prevent the body from rising. Human nature stood erect in the tomb a living thing. The first Adam was made a little lower than the angels, and apart from Christ must have, in all probability, remained for ever lower than the angels. But the second Adam, the Lord from Heaven, has not only raised human nature from the tomb, and from the power of death, but has taken it up higher than the angels, higher than the heavenly thrones and dominions, higher than principalities and powers, higher than the first archangel that blazes before the throne of God, and has placed it on the highest throne of heaven. But the same living human agent that was the life of the babe in Bethlehem still exists in the splendour of Christ's glorified body in heaven. And, as sure as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. The same living Christian that now suffers amid tears and sorrows in a natural body, will, at a future period, live in a spiritual body that will be for ever free from sorrow, pain, and death. “ Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as he is."
J. P. BELLINGHAM.
ART. VII. CLEMENT OF ROME. THE parentage of Clement and the date of his birth are involved
in great obscurity. Nothing can be positively affirmed either respecting his nationality or social position. That he occupied a leading place in the Church of Rome at a very early period is certain, and hence his designation of Romanus, to distinguish him from the Alexandrian Clement who lived some time after; but beyond this all is conjectural and uncertain. Various views have been advanced from time to time concerning his nationality, parentage, and rank. Some authors have maintained that he was of Jewish, and others that he was of Gentile descent. He has also been identified with the Clement named by Paul in his epistle to the Philippians. Again, though not identified with the Philippian Clement, he has been regarded as a constant companion of Paul, during the greater part of his missionary travels in Asia Minor and Europe. Certain writers have confounded him with the consul Flavius Clement, who suffered death during the Domitian persecution, and hence have ranked him among the Roman nobility. The view most generally accepted is that he was the Philippian Clement; though neither this nor any other view can be accepted with absolute certainty.
There is nearly as much obscurity resting upon his Church position as upon his birth and social rank. His first epistle to the Corinthians, the only writing bearing his name, which is generally admitted to be genuine, furnishes evidence that the place he occupied in the Church of Rome was a leading place. He writes to the Corinthian Church in the name of the Roman Church, a fact, which itself indicates the high position he held in the confidence and esteem of his brethren. He was trusted, and the management of important affairs was committed to him; his brethren feeling assured that no Christian interest would suffer in his hands. He was a leader of church thought, and a guide of church action ; but the episcopal rank which same writers claim for him cannot be assigned to him. Traditionally, Clement occupied the See of Rome; but this idea was of a later growth. Somewhat early in the postApostolic age leading presbyters assumed rule and authority, de manded and obtained submission to their will, on the part of the Church, and as this assumed authority became more fully systematised, it was traditionally pushed backward, in order to obtain for it Apostolic, countenance and sanction. This view explains and accounts for the confusion pervading the order of succession among the early bishops whose names tradition has handed down to us. Anything like the subsequent Episcopate was unknown in the early churches. There were leading presbyters, men who powerfully in. fluenced the thought and action of the Church, whose judgment was respected, and to whom the members of the Church were disposed to yield that deference due to an enlightened understanding, a sound judgment, and superior moral excellence. sometimes happened that there were two or more such men connected with the churches which were located in the great centres of thought and action. This co-equality could not be altogether ignored, and the traditionists have, from the beginning of their efforts, experienced considerable difficulty in so arranging the lists as to present a proper succession, and yet include all names of acknowledged eminence.